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Moncton Mounties returning to duty in wake of shootings

RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman, shown at a press conference June 6, said several officers from the Codiac detachment had been relieved of duty for mental-health reasons

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Mounties in Moncton are starting to return to work after a roughly two-week break to regain their composure in the wake of the shootings that killed three of their comrades.

After the June 4 tragedy, the RCMP had sent outside reinforcements to stand in for local Codiac officers for mental-health reasons, but Mounties here are now trickling back to duty pending individual assessments.

Each of Codiac's 141 officers and dozens of support staff will be assessed by a health-services team, which includes doctors, nurses and psychologists, RCMP spokeswoman Constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh said.

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"It's going to be a staggered process," she said. "Some may need more time, some may come back to work right away. It just depends."

She wouldn't detail the assessment process, citing officers' privacy, but said Mounties will have continuing access to the health-services team should they find themselves in need of further support once back on the job.

Officers from elsewhere in New Brunswick and from other provinces have been in Moncton since the regimental funeral on June 10 if not longer, but those relief officers will soon no longer be required here.

"As the Codiac members are able to come back, and as we no longer need officers from away, they'll be released to go back to their home detachment," Constable Rogers-Marsh said.

Outside the funeral for the three fallen men – Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Douglas Larche and Dave Ross – a Codiac officer expressed gratitude for his colleagues' willingness to assist in the coming weeks. The Mountie, who asked not to be named, alluded to the detachment's fragile psychological condition after the shootings.

"We just went through a traumatic experience," he said. "We can't just jump back on the street – people might have some sort of reaction."

The RCMP was front-and-centre in the response to the gunfire, with Mounties taking care of the dead and injured after the shootings. By the time ambulances were allowed close to the crime scene, the wounded had already been taken to hospital.

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Witnesses saw Constable Darlene Goguen, one of the injured, being helped by two officers from her squad car into an SUV, for example.

In a statement to The Globe and Mail the day of the funeral, RCMP Superintendent Marlene Snowman, the officer in charge of the maritime Codiac detachment, confirmed her staff had been relieved for "mental health reasons."

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